We had discussed Nokia being at MWC 2018, but they far exceeded our expectations. The company has announced a refresh of most of their lineup and another nostalgic feature phone. They unveiled the Nokia 8 Sirocco, refreshed the 7 Plus and 6 models, and even brought back the Matrix “banana” phone. And to top that all off, all of their new phones will be certified by Google to use Android One.
Android One Moving forward
Let’s start with that final bit of news. This comes as some surprise but is a great development for Nokia phones moving forward. Android One will add not only credibility of being backed by Google, but also leaves much of the development and support to Google. Nokia will have a stock streamlined software base with 2 years of security updates guaranteed.
It may not be a huge deal to the average consumer, but it shows that Nokia wants to limit their overhead and leverage a close partnership with Google. All Android One models are subject to a quality process and approval directly with Google that it meets their requirements for a solid user experience. Nokia promises that all of their new Android offerings will follow the Android One initiative.
Nokia 8 Sirocco
This is the beast of the new Nokia phones. With a 5.5-inch curved display, Snapdragon 835, and powered by the combo of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Sirocco specs don’t stop there either. The phone is IP67 water resistant, has fast Qi wireless charging, and should last all day with a 3260mAh battery. Android Oreo is onboard with the Android One certifications.
The design of the Nokia 8 Sirocco will remind most of a Galaxy S Edge edition with the curved display being prominent on the front of the device. The fingerprint scanner has been shifted to the rear of the phone to allow for a more bezel-less design. They’ve also improved the camera setup on the back and offer a Pro mode in the application. The new flagship also removes the traditional headphone jack. You’ll require a USB-C or Bluetooth with this one.
Updated Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 6
Both of these are more iterative refreshes rather than completely new phones. The Nokia 7 Plus and 6 carry most of the design DNA of their predecessors with some new hardware improvements and a fingerprint scanner on the back along with Android One Oreo. The 7 Plus adds a better Snapdragon 660 processor and a new dual rear camera. It also adopts the popular 18:9 screen ratio with the 6-inch display. Cram in a 3800mAh battery and you have a mid-range smartphone to compete with Moto’s E series.
The Nokia 6 is also sporting a new powerhouse internally with the addition of the Snapdragon 630. The 6 was one of Nokia’s most popular phones and they’ve left the basic design relatively untouched. It still has a 5.5-inch display, adds 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 16MP Zeiss camera. Just below the camera is the relocated fingerprint scanner just like the 7 Plus and 8. Nokia claims the new internals will see a 60% improvement in performance.
The last Android model announced today is the Android Go powered Nokia 1. This is the latest build of Android that is targetted towards extremely low-end devices with limited hardware. And the Nokia 1 definitely fall into this category. With only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, this phone will need the help of Google’s stripped down Android suite. It will launch with Oreo but will have all the Go included apps. You can expand the internal storage with a microSD slot.
The design is also bland and kinda reminds me of the HTC Nexus One. It’s somewhat of throwback rounded device that almost looks like a long pebble stone. The Nokia 1 is all plastic and not really worth writing home about outside of the emerging markets its intended to launch in.
Nostalgia is calling from the Matrix
Remember the yellow “banana” phone from the original Matrix movie? Well, that was the Nokia 8110 and now the company has brought it back as it’s newest Smart Feature phone. This is nowhere near Android and is a total throwback. It has Snake pre-installed! The 8110 4G has a 2.4-inch curved display, Qualcomm 205, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.
Last year Nokia relaunched the 3110 4G running the same software and I love that they are really leveraging their history for not only the 8110, but all of the phones in their lineup. At the turn of the century, Nokia was the most dominant force in mobile. Now they are trying to recapture some of that allure with this lineup and it’s working. And it with most of their Android line, they seem to have their sights set on taking on one of their oldest competitors, Motorola.